At long last it is over. The NBA can get back to work.
Well, at least the NBA referees. Now the league just have to give them games to officiate.
The NBA and its referees agreed to a five-year deal that will make sure the referees will be on the court officiating whenever the league starts up again. That is a good thing if you remember the last time the referees were unable to work games. It was pretty bad.
A deal seemed always in the works, but there were some rocky times. The referees filed an unfair labor practice with the NLRB and it seemed like that the league would take care of the players first. But at the owners meeting in Dallas, the owners approved of a new deal agreed to last week.
“We did not get everything we wanted, but given the current economic climate and the continuing players’ lockout, we are satisfied that this deal was in the best interests of our members,” National Basketball Referees Association general counsel Lee Seham said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Well, that is good. I do not know where we would be without Steve Javie, Joe Crawford and Dick Bavetta roaming the sidelines. Whether those guys got the benefits they wanted and avoided the NBA’s request that referees be fired without cause, is unknown. Terms of the deal were not released and the NBRA (unlike the NBPA) does not post the collective bargaining agreement on their Web site.
One lockout is solved. This might give hope that the other one — you know the one that we are all talking about — can get solved. After all, there cannot be games without referees, right?
You can interpret this as the owners taking one step toward starting the season on time. Or you could interpret it as the NBA taking care of one business to focus on the big business at hand.
At least there is hope the owners can get something done. Now onto the real business of the lockout.